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Incoming Superintendent Tours Schools

Incoming JCPS Superintendent Dr. Dana Ayers speaks with choral teacher Linda Haggard at Smoky Mountain High School while touring the campus on April 6. Photo by: David Proffitt

Dr. Dana Ayers received a warm welcome from students and staff on April 6 during her first official visit to Jackson County Public Schools since her introduction by the Board of Education as the new superintendent on March 10.

“It’s been a really good day,” Ayers said after her jaunt through the district’s nine schools.  “The common thread I see is the positivity from not just the principals giving me a tour, but also the teachers.  It’s good here.”

Ayers’ visit came one day after the state eased COVID-19 restrictions allowing in-person learning to resume on a normal schedule for the first time in more than a year.  Prior to April 5, students in grades 6-12 only attended in-person classes two days per week on a staggered schedule and spent the rest of the week learning remotely.

“It’s like a buzz in the building,” Ayers said.  “I’m excited to be in a place where you can tell that our staff really want kids back in the building.”

Ayers’ initial four-year term with Jackson County Public Schools will begin June 1 when she assumes the role from Interim Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton who has led the district since September 1, 2020 following the retirement of Dr. Kimberly Elliott.

Asked to sum up her whirlwind tour of the schools, Ayers simply said, “Pretty fantastic.  There are some great things happening here.”

David Proffitt : Jackson County Schools
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